In Shonen anime, a big part of many series has been about whether or not villains can ultimately be redeemed, and while antagonists such as Vegeta from Dragon Ball and Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho, the idea that Orochimaru of Naruto has been redeemed is still something we can't believe has happened. With Orochimaru's "offspring" in Mitsuki being made a part of Team 7 within the Hidden Leaf, there certainly is ample room for the snake ninja to make appearances in the current series, but the idea that he is living in Konoha is still something we can't wrap our minds around.
Orochimaru wasn't just the first major antagonist of the Naruto series, but was also simply a despicable human being, though you could hardly call him human considering the sheer amount of experiments he performed on himself throughout the franchise's history. One of the biggest aspects of his character was his desire to overtake Sasuke's body, looking to switch forms to that of one of the strongest around in the form of the Uchiha. A draw back of Orochimaru's longevity was that he needed to transfer his spirit to a new body once every few years, essentially killing who knows how many young ninja in the process. Though Sasuke was able to somewhat absorb Orochimaru toward the beginning of Naruto: Shippuden, his evil lived on.
The amount of dark experiments that Orochimaru performed on unwilling test subjects must have been staggering, attempting to find the secrets of ninjutsu and add more power to his arsenal of techniques. Having a heavy hand in the Akatsuki's formation, as well as killing the Third Hokage directly and slaughtering who knows how many innocent people in Konoha as a result, it is still hard to believe that he has been welcomed back into the fold.
While Orochimaru is somewhat held under lock and key within the Hidden Leaf Village, the pain he caused originally cannot and should not be overlooked. We're somewhat reminded of Freeza from the Dragon Ball series, wherein the evil alien despot might have been on the side of the heroes in Universe 7, but is still considered a threat to the universe. In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Freeza was responsible for the arrival of the legendary Super Saiyan on earth, still showing off his evil side, but it seems as if Orochimaru is on the side of angels full stop and that's really a shame.
What do you think of Orochimaru's current status in the Hidden Leaf Village? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Hidden Leaf Village!